Wed, 22 Mar 2000

Datakom objects to share reduction

JAKARTA (JP): PT Datakom Asia opposed on Tuesday the decline in its ownership in private television station SCTV to 26.85 percent from 47.5 percent.

The company's lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, said the decision to cut its ownership in the station had no valid legal ground.

"The dilution in the ownership has a legal defect. Datakom Asia still has a 47.5 percent stake in SCTV," Hotman told journalists.

The shareholders were scheduled to hold a meeting late on Tuesday to approve the new composition of the share ownership in the station. But the meeting was canceled as Datakom representatives opposed the change.

SCTV's shareholders agreed in late November to enlarge the television station's capital by Rp 100 billion in a bid to strengthen its capital base. All shareholders were required to provide the fresh funds on a proportional base but Datacom failed to meet its commitment. As a consequence, its ownership was reduced to 26.85 percent.

PT Mitrasari Persada's share ownership, however, increased to 73.15 percent from 52.5 percent previously.

PT Datakom Asia is owned by businessman Peter Gonta; Mitrasari by securities company Bhakti Investama and businessmen Henry Pribadi and Sudwikatmono.

Bhakti Investama is known as a local securities company that serves as one of the investment vehicles of prominent American fund manager George Soros.

Hotman insisted that the shareholders' meeting in November was not legally acceptable and dismissed Datakom had agreed to the Rp 100 billion capital injection plan.

"The November shareholders' meeting only had 50 percent shareholder approval whereas the company's articles require at least 66.67 percent approval," he said.(udi)